Day 3 of Climate Ride began with alarm clocks in the dark and the sound of barking seals from the water, as riders rolled out of tents extra early for the long day. Prepping bikes, prepping themselves with eggs and coffee, riders got ready to leave camp at first light, and most were riding by 7 am.
Today was all about the coast – 100 miles of coastline, stretching through Mendocino and Sonoma counties. The route followed scenic Highway 1 along bluffs and fields overlooking rocky bays and sandy beaches of some of California’s most remote coastline. The sun broke out the clouds first thing in the morning as riders rolled through the little town of Mendocino, and began the first 35-mile stage to the first water stop of the day. After fueling up, filling bottles, and adjusting seats and pedals, it was back on the road.
Farther south, the group passed through the small towns of Point Arena, Anchor Bay, and Gualala, where they bought lunch and assessed the state of their tired legs. Riders had the option to end their day in Gualala (a very respectable 53 miles of cycling) and shuttle to camp. If legs were feeling good riders could continue on to Stewarts point at 65 miles, where a fantastic general store made up sandwiches and poured cold beers. A shuttle was also available from here, and many riders opted to save their legs for the following day.
The intrepid riders whose legs were still going strong continued on another 35 glorious miles, climbing high on the bluffs above the water, and the plunging down thrilling twisting descents toward the ocean below. These sweeping views and ridiculously beautiful coastline kept smiles on lots of faces, despite the miles that were adding up quickly. Before long, the route turned away from the coastline toward the Russian River, and camp in Duncan Mills. Congrats to all the riders who completed the ‘century’ ride, and congrats to all the riders for completing three long, full days of riding, while staying safe and healthy.
In camp, exciting things kept on happening. Jen Stampley from New Belgium Brewery showed up with a van full of fun, including a giant connect-four board, stickers and patch kits, and BEER to taste and drink. New Belgium Brewery has a strong commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices, and they also love bikes. They work with dozens of nonprofits in California alone and, as Jen says, “We like working with organizations that mirror our core values and beliefs…our sponsorship of Climate Ride is no-brainer, really.”
New Belgium also awarded an amazing cruiser bike to our top fundraiser Jenny Shu, who raised more than $8,000 in the last three weeks alone. Nice work New Belgium and Jenny! Susan Green also cycled away with a prize – her awesome fundraising push during the final week won her the Trick-Out-My-Bike package, with $250 work of parts and accessories from Trek bikes.
The evening speaker series focused on policy, litigation, and business. Derek Walker of the Environmental Defense Fund talked about some of the great work EDF is doing to push for decreased carbon emissions in California and getting young professionals involved in the policy process. Selena Kyle then introduced team NRDC – a great group of riders working on litigation for all aspects of environmental protection, from smart growth and transportation to water supply, wildlife, and marine systems. Susan Green of Working Assets/Credo Mobile wrapped up the night by inspiring riders to think about new ways of working for environmental protection through private business, by using cell phone and credit card service provision to raise money for organizations and actions, such as the Keystone Pipeline protest.
Day three ended in a blanket of stars, as tired, happy riders made their way to their tents. Zzzzz….
Climate Ride California 2012: Day 2 Recap
Why We Ride, Part 3